With nine days to spend in Italy, travelers have enough time to see three major cities and add an additional region to explore—or, have a truly immersive experience in one area. On these five unique itineraries, you'll wander medieval towns in Tuscany, enjoy the beaches of Puglia, hike past craters on Mt. Etna, and share pizza and gladiator classes on a family-friendly tour of Rome.

Itinerary #1: Highlights of Italy's Cities & Amalfi Coast

Why choose between Venice and the Amalfi Coast when you can do both—and spend a few days in Florence and Rome along the way? This nine-day itinerary takes you to some of Italy's best-loved destinations for cultural sightseeing and fantastic food and wine.

The traditional Trulli of Alberobello

The traditional Trulli of Alberobello

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Rome, Travel to Venice Venice
Day 2 Venice Walking Tour Venice
Day 3 Venice to Florence, Food Tour Florence
Day 4 Tour of Tuscany & Wine Tasting Florence
Day 5 Florence to Amalfi Coast, Positano Sunset Cruise Amalfi
Day 6 Capri and Anacapri Day Tour Amalfi
Day 7 Amalfi Coast to Rome, Afternoon Colosseum and Forum Tour Rome
Day 8 Vatican & Classic Tour of Rome Rome
Day 9 Goodbye Italy!  

This trip is neatly divided into four destinations with two nights in each. You'll begin in Venice, kicking off your travels in style with a gondola ride and a walking tour around Piazza San Marco, San Marco Basilica, and the ornate Doge's Palace. Visit the Bridge of Sighs and the Rialto market, picking up fixings for a wine and cheese picnic in the afternoon and checking out the nightlife of the Cannaregio District, site of the former Jewish Ghetto, after dark.

On day three, catch the train to Florence for sightseeing and art at the 15th-century Pitti Palace and the world-famous Uffizi Gallery. You'll take a walking tour in the afternoon with a local guide who'll point the way to the city's best gelato shops and wine bars. The next day, sample the wine in the place where it's made: Chianti, the famed wine-growing region in Tuscany. In addition to tastings and lunch, you'll have a chance to wander through Siena and the charming nearby village of San Gimignano.

On the second half of the trip, relax for a few days on the Amalfi Coast. Enjoy a sunset cruise off the coast of Positano and eat pasta with freshly caught seafood in one of many family-run restaurants. Explore the island of Capri the next day, catching some rays on the beach and finishing the day with a stop at Grotta Azzurra, a naturally hollowed sea cave. Leave the beach for Rome, where you'll spend the last part of the itinerary. Highlights include an afternoon tour of the Colosseum, a visit to the Vatican Museums, a stroll around Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona, and leisure time for al fresco meals, coffee breaks, and more wine. After a week this busy, you deserve it! Learn more

If you have some extra days to spend, consider this 15-day version of the same itinerary, with added stops along the way and extra time for relaxing.

Itinerary #2: Explore Tuscany

World-class art, architecture, food, and wine: what's not to like about a nine-day adventure in Tuscany? On this itinerary, you'll divide your time between several key destinations, with overnight bases in Florence, Siena, and Lucca.

Exploring Lucca, Tuscany on two wheels
Exploring Lucca, Tuscany on two wheels
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Florence!  Florence
Day 2 Uffizi Gallery Tour Florence
Day 3 Tour of Pisa & Leaning Tower Florence
Day 4 Florence to Siena Siena
Day 5 Montepulciano and Pienza Tour Siena
Day 6 Free Day in Siena Siena
Day 7 Siena to Lucca, City Tour Lucca
Day 8 Pasta Making Class in Lucca Lucca
Day 9 Goodbye Italy!  

The trip begins in Florence and a self-guided walking tour of some of the city's top highlights, including the iconic Duomo, the Galleria dell'Accademia (which displays Michelangelo's 'David' sculpture), and Pontevecchio Bridge, plus time for shopping and café-hopping. You'll do a more formal tour of Uffizi Gallery the following day, led by an art historian. On day three, side-trip to Pisa to see the famous Leaning Tower and enjoy a guided tasting of Tuscan wines and olive oils. Continue to Siena on day four, taking in sweeping views over the UNESCO-honored historic center from the Torre del Magnia bell tower.

Midway through the trip, you'll explore the medieval towns of Montepulciano and Pienza, have lunch at a dairy farm in the countryside, then return to Siena for a free day. Optional activities include riding in a hot air balloon over the surrounding vineyards
renting a Vespa to speed around the region, Italian-style, or going for a horseback ride in the Tuscan hills. The following morning, you'll make the two-hour trip to Lucca, where landmarks include the 11th-century Diavolo Bridge and the medieval towers of Torre Guinigi and Torre dell Ore. On your final full day, you'll remain in Lucca, learning how to make pasta the traditional way at a four-hour cooking class. Learn more

Go off the beaten path in Tuscany with these travel suggestions.

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Itinerary #3: Laidback Puglia

Explore ancient cave dwellings, lounge on laid-back beaches, and feast on street food on this trip to "the heel of the boot." On this Puglian itinerary, you'll spend a few nights each in Alberobello, Lecce, and Bari.

A picturesque view of Amalfi at night
A picturesque view of Amalfi at night
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Puglia, Day in Alberobello Alberobello
Day 2 Matera Morning Tour Alberobello
Day 3 Free Day in Alberobello Alberobello
Day 4 Alberobello to Lecce, Afternoon Cooking Class Lecce
Day 5 Lecce City Tour Lecce
Day 6 Free Day in Lecce Lecce
Day 7 Lecce to Bari, Afternoon Food Tour Bari
Day 8 Grotto di Castellana Afternoon Trip Bari
Day 9 Goodbye Italy!  

Start your adventure in Alberobello, where you'll see the city's signature Trulli, circular 14th-century limestone buildings with cone-shaped roofs, and take a Puglian cooking class in the afternoon. On day two, you'll go to the ancient city of Matera for a three-hour walking tour that takes you to the Sassi di Matera, UNESCO-honored cave dwellings, as well as several churches carved into volcanic rock. Return to Alberobello, where you have several options of how to spend day three: wine tasting at the Cantina Albea winery and wine museum, day-tripping to the seaside town of Polignano a Mare for some downtime on the beach, or heading to Altamura, a nearby city that's famous for its traditional bread.

On day four, you'll continue to the historic city of Lecce, sometimes called the "Rome of the South." You'll tour the Baroque churches that the place is known for, and take another cooking class—this time hosted by sommeliers at an elegant estate. The following day, you'll go on a half-day guided tour of the city, leaving the afternoon free for some sun and sand on Lecce's coastline or at the beaches just outside of town.

Splash in the turquoise waters of Gallipoli Beach, explore small rocky pools at Santa Cesarea Terme, and find wonderful photo ops around the white sand dunes at Spiaggia di Alimini. Finish the trip in beautiful Bari, where you'll sightsee in the old town district of Barivecchia and take a walking food tour to try focaccia barese (the local twist on an Italian classic) and panzerotto, a calzone-like treat. On the last full day, explore the Grotte di Castellana, a network of caves in the countryside outside Bari, and learn about their 90-million-year-old history. Return to Bari for dinner and drinks. Learn more

Find out more here about the best culinary experiences in Puglia (and elsewhere in Italy).

Itinerary #4: Family Adventure in Italy

Italy is a great place to travel with the whole family. This fun trip plan, with overnight stays in Venice, Florence, and Rome, features fun and food, including "gladiator school" for kids and pizza-making classes for all ages.

On a kid-friendly itinerary, see Rome from a child's perspective
On a kid-friendly itinerary, see Rome from a child's perspective
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Rome, Travel to Venice Venice
Day 2 Family-Friendly Venice Walking Tour Venice
Day 3 Family-Friendly Lido Bike Tour & Villa Pisani Venice
Day 4 Venice to Florence, Family-Friendly Food Tour Florence
Day 5 Treasure Hunt & Kid-Friendly Museums in Florence Florence
Day 6 Kid-Friendly Pizza & Craft Classes in Florence Florence
Day 7 Florence to Rome, Kid-Friendly Colosseum & Forum Tour Rome
Day 8 Family-Friendly Vatican & Gladiator School Rome
Day 9 Goodbye Italy!  

This kid-friendly tour starts in Venice. On a family-oriented walking tour of the city, your guide will point out attractions of special interest to the under-12 set, like the animal mosaics at San Marco's Basilica. A gondola ride, of course, is fun for all ages, as is the obligatory stop at the city's best gelato shops. The following day, you'll get fitted for bicycles to pedal around Lido. The nine-mile ride is suitable for all skill levels and features stops at the ancient wells in Malamocco and the Murazzi, a huge 18th-century sea fortification.

Moving on to Florence the next day, you'll sightsee in the historic center and taste regional specialties (and more ice cream) on a walking food tour of the city. On day five, meet up with a small group for a kid-oriented treasure hunt of the city with games, quizzes, and prizes, then visit the Children's Workshop (with audio guides available in many languages) at the Museo degli Innocenti. Finish your time in Florence with a four-hour family cooking class and an art workshop designed for children and specializing in local paper crafts.

The itinerary ends in Rome, where in addition to standard sightseeing and museum visits, kids will have the option to attend "gladiator classes" at the Gladiator School of Rome Museum. Including basic instruction on battle strategies, an agility course, clothing, and battle gear, the class ends with a full tournament. Cap off the trip with pizzas for everyone: a favorite for visitors to Rome, regardless of age. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Volcanoes of Sicily

Covering the Aeolian Islands and Mount Etna, this itinerary strikes just the right balance between active adventure and relaxation. The highlight of the itinerary is the journey to the top of the largest active volcano in Europe.

Hiking on Mt. Etna
Hiking on Mt. Etna
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Catania  Catania
Day 2 Vulcano Lipari
Day 3 Lipari Lipari
Day 4 Salina Island Lipari
Day 5 Stromboli Stromboli
Day 6 Stromboli Stromboli
Day 7 Hiking Etna South Etna South
Day 8 Mount Etna to Catania Catania
Day 9 Depart from Catania  

This action-packed itinerary starts off with a low-key day in Catania. Walk around the historic center and stop for dinner in a traditional trattoria, but get to bed early: you'll need rest for what this trip plan has in store. On day two, you'll catch a hydrofoil to Vulcano, famous for its black beaches and thermal springs, and hike up to the crater for views of the island chain. You'll ride another boat to the island of Lipari to spend the night. The following day, enjoy an easy hike on Lipari and a visit to the regional Archaeological Museum.

On day four, move onto Salina Island (via hydrofoil) and visit a local winery for a tasting and lunch. The following day, it's another boat ride to the island of Stromboli. Relax on black beaches for the next day or two—and get warmed up for the rest of the itinerary on a walk to the Sciara del Fuoco, where you'll see panoramic views of the surrounding craters.

The adventure culminates with a boat ride from Stromboli to Milazzo and a private transfer from Milazzo harbor to the southern side of Mt. Etna, where you'll go a guided walk to the edge of the Sivestri Craters and sleep at a high-altitude hotel. On the last full day of the trip, discover the southern side of Mt. Etna on a hike to a “caldera” formed from the collapse of an old volcano and take in sweeping views of the Ionian coast of Sicily. Learn more

For a variation on this Sicilian itinerary, try this week-long itinerary that includes Mt. Etna, Taormina, and Cefalú.

More Unique Italy Itineraries

If you're still on the hunt for travel inspiration, check out this selection of unique nine-day itineraries in Italy. Then check out our Italy travel essentials and travel advice.


Map of 9 Days in Italy - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 9 Days in Italy - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas